Friday September 18, 2009
Garmisch, Germany—After three days of drizzle, clouds, rain and kids up in the night I awoke to one of the most beautiful mornings ever. Clear blue skies with wispy clouds trapped in the crags of the mountains, the smell of fresh rain and a little woodsmoke in the air. It was amazing. We were beginning to thing our whole trip would be accompanied by English weather, but we were spared this day and made the most of it. I took the kids to look into some activities while Anna got some much needed uninterrupted sleep.
Then we had a quick breakfast and headed over to rent some bikes from the Edelweiss Lodge. Luckily they cater well to families and we were able to rent a tag-a-long trailer bike for Henry and a bike trailer for Lizzy and headed out on a trail across emerald green cow pastures studded with little barn, through quaint little alpine villages and through lush forests on our way to the Eibsee about 1000ft above the valley floor. Unfortunately, the gear was not as light as ours at home and we’re not as fit as we once were and as the trail got much steeper Anna had to give up and feed and played with Lizzy while I essentially dismounted for the last 2km and pushed Henry and our bikes the rest of the way up. (Anna also learned the valuable lesson of making sure you eat something before trying to bike up the alps. She felt better about herself as she watched plenty of people on nice bikes in spandex turn around at the same point too.) The lake was serene and beautiful, but with Anna waiting I bought Henry an ice cream cone which he calmly ate with one hand holding onto his handlebars with the other while we flew down the steep (but pretty smooth) mountain path. The ride home was fast and lovely again. Even though we bit off a little more than was reasonable it was a fantastic ride on a perfect day.
(Henry pedaling along)
(biking through a pasture on the way to the lake)
(a little pit stop in said pasture. Notice the cows in there with us.)
We turned the bikes in and headed across town to a little alpine slide which is perhaps a better value than anything else denominated in Euro’s—9e for 6 rides. Anna and I took turns with riding with Henry and let him control the speed for the last few. I would brake for him occasionally, but Anna was gutsier and let him floor it. We ended up buying the picture they took of the ride (again reasonable at only 2e) because Henry looks exhilarated with his hair blown back and Anna looks like someone who knows the consequences of going too fast but being driven by one who doesn’t. (We didn’t hit the brake once the whole way down.) (I’ll try and scan and post this picture later)
We still had some daylight left so we all drove up to the Eibsee (Lake we were biking to) so Anna could see it and Henry could feed the ducks. We all got a kick and a few nips out of tossing bread crumbs or even letting them grab them out of our hands. Then finally back home for another microwaved dinner (we eat out once a day) as clouds were rolling in again. Both kids actually went down well and are simultaneously sleeping, a seeming first since arriving in Germany, and so should we.